Gig Review: The Yada Yada Yadas/Lauren’s Court/Parallax Skies/Static Union
On Thursday the 11th of October, Head of Steam Newcastle opened its doors once again for a packed night of exciting live music presented by Off Axis and the ever dependable Pillar Artists. With the bill consisting of Lauren’s Court, Parallax Skies, Static Union and headlined by the Yada Yada Yadas, the room quickly began to fill up to a respectable capacity of gig goers ready to experience whatever was in store.
The evening began with Sunderland five piece Lauren’s Court. While their debut album ‘Introduction’ does capture their essence well, they excelled every expectation with their live show.
Frontman Dylan seemed to become possessed by a character which was fascinating to watch unfold, and drummer Jack’s energy behind the kit is something that added massively to their performance. That isn't to say that the rest of the band didn't pull their weight however as they supported each other superbly, providing dissonant yet still somehow melodic backing - imagine some kind of Gorillaz/Slaves/Rat Boy mix. The very obviously political stance these guys have taken lyrically is sure to split opinion, but any band with a song that begins “f*ck Tommy Robinson and f*ck the EDL” is absolutely A-OK with me.
Next up on stage were Parallax Skies who, prior to this event was a name I’d never heard. These guys had such a charm about them and their crowd interaction was really second to none, with frontman Andy taking the opportunity between songs to crack a few jokes and build up a very strong rapport with his crowd. Britpop influences are evident in Parallax Skies’ songwriting, as well as elements comparable to early 00s indie bands like The Feeling. The crowd was at its largest and arguably most responsive during their set, which they most definitely fed off, ensuring an energetic and infectious performance.
The night was a Newcastle debut for Glaswegian rockers Static Union, and what an impression they left. Despite the room having emptied out slightly after the first two bands, these boys weren’t phased one bit and delivered an effortless yet explosive set. Frontman Sean, supported by lead guitarist/synth player James, used the time between songs to charm the crowd, which appeared to be second nature to them, before throwing themselves into each dynamic post-punk song. These guys left me thoroughly impressed, it’s just a shame more people weren’t there to see it. Be sure to catch Static Union next time they’re in the Toon.
Watching live music, especially that of the local variety, is one of my absolute favourite pastimes. This is only amplified when it’s a band I’ve never seen before, and even more so when their reputation precedes them as much as the Yada Yada Yadas’ does. They really had their work cut out for them following three bands as strong as their supports, but the Yada Yada Yadas definitely managed to hold their own and proved more than deserving of the headline slot on the night. These guys have a really cool way of disguising what are ultimately pop songs under fuzz and effects and putting their own stamp on them to turn them into something else entirely, and it’s really quite special. Dirty grooves, surfy riffs and huge vocals are just some of the features that led me to understand exactly what it is that’s built up such a hype around this band. Easily comparable to the likes of Weezer, with a sound big enough to fill an arena. The highlight of their set was their closing number which remains untitled as of yet - a very cleverly written singalong anthem that had everyone in the crowd moving.
All in all, a night bursting at the seams with emerging talent, Pillar Artists really pulled it out the bag once more with this one.
All photography by the author